The alternative phrase ‘Forget and Forgive’ indicates a romanticized sentiment than a helpful advice. It is used to smooth things our rather than to amend or heal something. We have all suffered in our lives, but the thought of forgetting about the abuse that we have faced may seem offensive. It is impossible for people to eliminate past abuse from their memory.
Generally, most people don’t forget. They remember the abuse they have experienced and revise their behavior to avoid it. Although they do not pay attention to the wrongdoers and wounds in their lives, their bodies remember them. Even though they are not fully aware of them, they affect the way they live their lives.
Here are some reasons why you should never say ‘Forget and Forgive’:
1. Forgetting is impossible
You can’t easily forget unpleasant situations in your life. As time passes, the human brain forgets some parts of your traumatic experiences. You cannot ask someone to forget things because it is impossible.
It is impossible to forget the harm that has been committed to you. It happened to you, and you know how hurtful it was. This is something that cannot be removed from your memory.
The process of forgiveness is described in four stages: uncovering the truth, understanding forgiveness and deciding whether to forgive or not, trying to change the way they see the wrongdoer, and finally, finding meaning in connecting with other people and enjoying the renewed purpose of life.
2. It invalidates the abuse
People can easily forgive and forget things that have no meaning to them. However, if somebody experienced mental, physical, or emotional abuse, you cannot ask them to forget it. Trying to forget or forgive an abuse can lead to trauma, depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
3. It gives the impression that you are tired of listening to them
When you tell your friend to forget and forgive some unpleasant events from their life, they feel as if you do not care about them. They believe that they should make out that nothing had happened.
4. It makes them feel week
People may need years to understand the abuse they have experienced. After understanding the abuse that they have experienced, they start to feel pain and anger. If someone had stooped blaming themselves for the abuse that others had done to them, it means that they have started to heal. If you ask them to forget the abuse, their healing process will be hindered.
5. It is a command
After experiencing abuse, the last thing that a victim wants is to hear a command or criticism. If you are not compassionate and caring, they will go away from you and try to protect themselves.
If you want to help them, be patient, listen to them and offer your help. They will need someone who will listen to them and be their support. They do not expect anything from you, just to be there.
6. It is judgmental
If you tell a victim that their only choice is to forget and forgive, you will not help him. It means that if they do not behave as you tell them, they are cruel and stubborn. In this way, you are telling them that the process of healing is wrong.
The most important thing is to try and avoid the ineffective forgive and forget technique. Because it turns out that forgetting how you have been betrayed does not lead to true forgiveness. It only makes you betray yourself.